Consumers must continue to utilize energy efficiently and exercise their power of choice to enhance more competition in the retail level, Department of Energy (DoE) Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi reiterated on Wednesday amid the oil price increase in the world market.
“The retail prices and services per retail station are different. Our consumers must compare the prices and services and choose the retail station that provides the best products and services that suit their needs,” Cusi said.
He added, “Everyone must be aware of their respective energy consumption habits and continue to observe an energy efficient lifestyle, whether we have fuel price increases or not.”
“The nation, along with the majority of the globe, is facing the realities of socio-political turmoil in oil-producing countries, which, sadly, results in fluctuations of oil prices. I cannot stress enough that, as an oil importing country, our market is susceptible to these effects, and it is up to us as a nation how we handle this challenge,” said Cusi.
The DoE has observed the continuing decline of oil production by members of the Oil Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), as well as by countries outside of OPEC.
Saudi Arabia, with its large contribution to world oil supply, has steadily reduced its crude oil production by 336,000 barrels per day (bpd) this March, bringing the total OPEC reduction to around 1.6 million bpd as of March 2019. Further cuts on exported crude oil from Saudi Arabia are expected in April 2019, with the announced reduction of an additional 635,000 bpd.
Actions by the United States, with the imposed sanctions on Venezuela and Iran, have also affected world oil prices including the impending Iran export waiver expiring in April, affecting a further reduction of crude oil supply by around 1.1 million bpd. This has already resulted in recent cuts of U.S. oil reserves, causing the overall increase in crude prices.
In the East Asian region, shutdowns due to the maintenance of oil processing facilities in Japan (JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy) and China (Sinopec) had also resulted in further reduced oil supply.